Saturday, May 30, 2020

Lost and Found

New Zealand Treasures

I couldn't take it any longer!  I had to restore some order to the fabric/cutting room.  So I started by separating out bits on the cutting table that could be trashed from strips that could go into strip bins.  Larger pieces of fabric were refolded and scraps that didn't match the folded fabric went into my scrap bins.

Then I turned my attention to the work table in the middle of the room.

I re-shelved some fabrics that I had been auditioning.  I put the pieces of an abandoned project in a giveaway bag.  Eventually I came to the bottom of the pile and I realized I had never shown you the treasures I picked up in New Zealand while on the TOALT in January.

At our first port on the cruise around NZ, we took an excursion train up into the hills around Dunedin on the south island.  We got off the train while the engine was being moved to the back end of the train for the trip back down.  A little flea market had been set up along the rail siding and my attention immediately went to a sign that said QUILTS!  Most everything she had would be available in the US, but I did manage to snag a panel that features the wildlife and Maori graphic designs of NZ.

I don't know what I will do with this ... maybe border it as-is, or incorporate it into something useful like a bag.

We finally found a "real" quilt shop in Nelson on one of our last port stops on the north island.  I did something I rarely do -- I bought a kit.

The irony is the fabric is designed by Valori Wells from Washington  Oregon state, and the fabrics are mostly Robert Kaufman.  I knew it would be hard to find a group of fabrics that went together as well as the one in the shop sample so I bit the bullet.  I think this one will go with me on retreat in a couple of weeks.

Friday, May 29, 2020


Is anyone else perplexed by the "new" Blogger?  At first I couldn't figure out how to start a new post or to include pictures.  Now it's rearranging my reading list (like Facebook which is also making changes) so I may be missing/overlooking some of your posts.  It's not because I don't care.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wildlife Wednesday

I've enjoyed seeing everyone's garden photos, so thought I'd give you a tour of mine.  Mr. Mallard came for a visit today.

I think he wanted to see the gardens, too. First, rhododendron by the lake.

Then multi-color Knockout rose.

Enormous blooms from the peonies.  We have a deep red blooming in the secret garden, too.

And my veggies on the deck.  Four tomatoes, two peppers, and two basil, plus some marigolds.

Monday, May 25, 2020

What Now?

A 60/120 Tutorial

But first, an update on Everlasting Love (needs a better name).  After a couple of days making log cabins in various sizes I abandoned that idea.

I tried big centers -- bad proportion.  I tried little centers -- proportion was better but they just weren't doing anything for me.  After consulting with DH, we decided to try flying geese and I am MUCH happier, actually downright excited!

I have most of the geese made and a couple of borders pieced together.  Could be ready for quilting in a day or two.

So what to do now?  After I got all the project boxes in alpha order, I realized that several of the projects were "that" close to being finished.  I made a list of nine and pulled one to work on.  It's a Stack 'n' Whack that a reader (I think Ramona/Doodlebugs) named Starry Night because of the blue and yellow fabric that looks like Van Gogh's painting Starry Night.

Starry Night
The hexagons are formed from six identical 60-degree triangles.  The hexies didn't have enough variety to put together in One Block Wonder fashion so I went with a Stack 'n' Whack setting option that features each block individually with 60-degree background triangles as separators.  Two triangles are attached to opposite sides of the hexagon.  Some background triangles on the side blocks had to be relocated or cut in half to make a more rectangular arrangement.

The rows are assembled on the diagonal, similar to an on-point block construction.  But it took a lot more thought (on my part).  Then I was faced with filling in the edges.  The pattern in the SnW book suggested more triangles and half triangles, but that would have been a lot of seams.  So I decided to fill in with long 120-degree triangles.  First I measured the width of a half hexagon.

They finish at roughly 3.5" so I added 1/2" to make 4".  The distance from point to point on the hexies is roughly 12.5".

So I added 1/5" to make 13".  I cut a rectangle of background fabric at  4" x 13", then folded in half.  With my 60-degree triangle ruler I put the center line on the edge of the folded rectangle with the point at the folded edge. (If you are trying this, your measurements will depend on the size of your stacked triangles.)

The fabric under the ruler is waste.  I stitched one side of the angle to the end of a diagonal row before I stitched the rows to one another.  And, voila!

Side setting triangles
A couple of borders to be added and I'll have another finished top in 2020!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Still Hibernating

Happy Sunday Morning!

I woke early today and enjoyed another gorgeous sunrise.

Sunrise 5/24/20
I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.  We have had very warm temps with alternating sun and showers but we have managed to get some gardening done.  DH is mulching the front beds and they are looking so good!

Astilbe, hydrangea, and Lenten roses
Knockout roses
Thirty miles south of us there is the nicest garden center owned and managed by a Mennonite family.  Earlier this spring we got four 3-foot dogwoods there and all are doing great, even the one almost destroyed by the roofer.  On another trip we picked up two hanging baskets and some shade-loving plants.

On Saturday I made the trek down again to get vegetable plants for my raised trough.

Two Bradleys, two cherry tomatoes, two peppers, two basil, four marigolds, all of this for only $20!  One of the pepper plants has already set some fruit!

Silly Me pulled all the tags and now I don't know which tomatoes are Bradleys and which are cherries!  With my lack of experience, anything that actually produces is a surprise, anyway.  I hope to get all this goodness planted today, in between rain showers.

When I'm not in the yard I am in the sewing room.  I'll report on my progress later today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A Happy Surprise

and a few other surprises

While I'm sewing curves on the Glorified 9-Patch (NOT!), I'll break away to give you a look at  a couple of the Hs in my UFO boxes.

First up is Happy Surprise, designed by Jo and Kelli Kramer/Jo's Country Junction in 2018 (I think).  I was immediately intrigued by how it goes together, so I did a rough sketch and made a plan.  I started with a jelly roll of Grunge.

I made a few HSTs and even made my version of a test block.  (I have no idea if it bears any resemblance to the pattern!)

I lacked the confidence to continue, though, because I hadn't bought the AP&Q magazine it appeared in.  Well, happy surprise, Jo recently reprised the project on her blog and I was able to snag a photo of the project (which I can't show without permission).  So I pulled out the box and it appears I have made well over 300 HSTs!

Rather than make the number required in the pattern, I'm just going to use what I have and hopefully it will be enough for a nice lap quilt.  Stitching HSTs together will be my leader/ender project for the foreseeable future.

An Unhappy Surprise -- What wasn't in that stack of boxes above reappeared in a burst of cleaning up yesterday -- Hopkins Square from Judy Hopkin's 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks.  This is the block I used in my Magical Mystery last year.  My mystery has you make four blocks from a pair of fat quarters.  Well, this muddy version is a prime example of what NOT to use!

I hate to throw all that effort away.  I think I will use each set of 4 blocks as the center of a baby quilt.  I will survey my stash options to see if I have something that will not only liven up these blocks, but will give a dash of youthfulness.

Another happy surprise - I have all my boxes back in alphabetical order so it should be a lot easier for me to continue working through the alphabet.

Another unhappy surprise - my work table is missing!

There's a table under there somewhere!
And I'll close with another Happy Surprise - the Knockout roses that I thought were lost last year are blooming big time!

Knockout Rose (I don't remember the variety)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Jumping Ahead

and procrastinating

I know, The Colorful Fabriholic says I should be progrestinating, but sometimes just a glimpse of something will pull me down a squirrel hole.  It started with this picture in BH&G Quilt Sampler (Fall/Winter 2019).

Which made me think of this project in Australian Patchwork and Quilting ( no date ) that I fell in love with years ago ...

Love Everlasting
Which got me thinking about this beautiful fat quarter I planned to use in the center ...

I even had my architect husband draw up a 16-inch octagon for me way back then. Well, one thing led to another and even though the project box was in the "L"s, I just had to take a peak to refresh my memory on what I had planned.  And, before I knew it, I was knee-deep into a detour.  I couldn't help myself!

After I cut the FQ into the octagon, I was flummoxed by what appeared to be impossible math. Turns out it's just 45-degree angles!  But before I came to that realization, I added triangles to the corners to make a square, then added a 1" frame of the same fabric as the corners.  In the project box I found a lot of checkerboard units already made.

OK.  But my mind kept going back to the inspiration photos that were set on point.  So I came up with this solution.

Next up will be a frame of red, probably to finish at 1".  (I am doing my best to keep everything in an even denomination to keep the math manageable.) Then I'm thinking about flying geese and/or log cabins, based on the inspiration photos.  This will become a wall hanging over my family room fireplace.  Hopefully soon!  Stay tuned.

Linking with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Meet Corona Wife

Corona Wife a/k/a Gypsy Wife
I'm certain without i-sew-lation I would never have finished this flimsy.
No, it's not exactly like the pattern, but it's done.
Quilting TBD.

Joining in with Finished or Not Friday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Three-Quarters Done

If you're thinking I'm procrastinating on Glorified 9-Patch, you're right!

Gypsy Wife
I'm pretty much winging it at this point, only a slight resemblance to the pattern.  It is currently barely 30" wide.  I have cut 10 more strips to make it 40", may up it to 45".  My plan is to mirror the right side on the left.  That will put the heaviest blocks in the center.  But I have a lot of big blocks made so there may be another neutral quilt in my future ... just sayin' ...

GW Progress

The puzzle that keeps on puzzling

Gypsy Wife
While I had the box out, I thought I should make a plan.  And, before I knew it, I was putting more pieces together.  All. Day. Yesterday. I unsewed almost as much as I sewed!

I have decided to stop with what I have on hand which will make it about half size. 

As I was sitting at the machine, this beautiful creature hopped by my window.

Hooded Warbler ?
Mother Goose returned with her Mister briefly Saturday morning.  She sat a while on the nest of broken eggs while he stood watch.  Then they left.  Some animal, probably a raccoon, has feasted on the eggs and left nothing but shells.

This morning's sunrise ... the magenta was even more intense than shows in this photo.


Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Other G

and on to the Hs

I have been doing a little bit on Glorified 9-Patch each day.  I still needed quite a few 9-Ps for the "light" blocks so that is where I have put my attention.

The other G in my alphabet of UFOs is Gypsy Wife.

I started this project, designed by Australian Jen Kingwell, back in August 2017 using all neutrals.  I was "shooting from the hip" at that time, making up my own blocks as I went along.  I was gifted a "real" pattern that Christmas so I really count January 2018 as my start date.  I am also using some miscellaneous orphan blocks to replace some of the blocks in the pattern.  Upon investigation, I saw that I had completed 4 of the 10 sections.  Because of the continuous vertical strips that are interrupted by blocks at various intervals, it really takes a large design wall (or floor) to keep things organized.

I found a bit of design wall space yesterday so I added the 5th section and started putting some miscellaneous blocks in place.  I am hoping to add a section each week which means that in a month I may have a finished flimsy!  The blocks are heavier at the top and sparser at the bottom, so the task should be easier as I go.

Now, on to H ...

Happy Surprise is a design by Jo and Kelli Kramer/Jo's Country Junction for AP&Q.  I started it as soon as I saw the picture on Jo's blog; but I never bought the magazine so I am trying to figure out how it is constructed on my own.  I'm using a Jelly Roll of Moda Grunge to make the HSTs.  Lots of HSTs!

Harriet's Legacy is a medallion-style pattern offered by Wyndham Fabrics to benefit the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.  I'm using 19th Century reproduction prints.

High Def is an interesting modern take on bargello.  A look inside the box reveals that all the strata have been made and some cut!

Haunted House is a Little Bits paper pieced project that could very well be finished by the time I write about it.

All these projects deserve their own post so, rather than having this post run on like a Russian war novel, I will save them for another day.

Linking with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Cold Sad Day

I noticed late last evening that Mother Goose had abandoned her nest. 
I guess she read the weather report that it was going to get below freezing. 
I don't know anything about how an egg should look when hatched, 
but I don't think the prognosis is good ... 

... at least 4, maybe 5 eggs and only one is still intact but no doubt frozen.

I wonder if she will try again when it gets warmer.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Ode to a Macaroni Jar

My mother used these large jars to keep pests and varmints out of her meal, rice, and pasta.

She once told me that the original jars came from her hair dresser, that semi-solid shampoo came in them.  I think pickles also came in them.

When I inherited them, I spray-painted the lids to match my red gingham kitchen color scheme. 

Tonight, the macaroni jar bit the dust on our porcelain tile kitchen floor.


You might want to sit down

and hold on to your hat

Libby is sewing curves!

The first G in my alphabetic countdown is Glorified 9-Patch.
(Also known as Improved 9-patch)
According to the label on my box, this project dates to 2011!

I took a class with Toby Lischko at Tennessee Quilts Fest.

I used a strip roll of batiks as my starting point
to complement this batik I had chosen for the setting "bikini" triangles and border.

Side setting triangle
I had forgotten how much progress I had made back in 2011.
I love the circular illusion the two blocks make when placed together.

Finished blocks
The two blocks are made the same; they are just positive/negative versions of the same block.
From the number of pieces already cut, apparently I had a grand plan to make a queen/king quilt.
(Either that, or two twins ...)

After seeing what is already complete, I question why it's taken nine years to get back to it.
I have decided to at least finish the blocks for the size in the pattern.

Nine-patches are made.  Now they just need the "ellipses" added.
I REALLY don't remember adding all the dark ones!
So I tried another one.

There is not supposed to be a dart at the apex of the ellipse ...

Darts and Dinks
... or a dink on the skinny end.
Apparently I had the wrong piece on top.

I did better on the next attempt (no photo); ellipse on the bottom, slow stitching.
This is going to be a LONG process.
I've set my goal to finish two every day.

So in the meantime, I'll show you Thursday's sunrise ...

Sunrise 5/7/20
... and an evening visitor ...

Great Blue Heron
Linking with Finished or Not Friday.